The Supreme Court recently reprimanded a Police Officer (Investigation Officer) for his approach reflected in the counter affidavit seeking custody of an accused, where he stated that though the accused appeared before him, did not produce any material to prove his innocence. The bench termed the approach as “shocking”.

Consequentially, a bench of Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan observed, “From paragraph 9 of the counter affidavit, it is obvious that the Police need the custody of the appellant-Md. Tauhid @ Kallu, not for interrogation but for some other reason. We must also record that the approach of the Police reflected from paragraph 9 of the counter affidavit, to say the least, is shocking. The Police Officer seems to be under an impression that the accused has to appear before him and prove his innocence. Such approach cannot be countenanced”.

It is to be noted that Paragraph 9 of the counter affidavit read “9. That further as per order of Hon’ble Supreme Court I.O has served notice to petitioner Tauhid @ Kallu, Manoj Singh on 15/01/2024 to join the investigation as mentioned in paragraph-71 of C.D. and thereafter Tauhid @ Kallu, Manoj Singh appeared before I.O. on 24/01/2024 and on interrogation pleaded himself innocent but did not produce and material in support of his claim”.

Senior Advocate Syed Jafar Hussain appeared for the petitioner and AOR Manish Kumar appeared for the respondents.

The petitioner, in the present case was the original petitioner No. 2 before the Patna High Court who had sought anticipatory bail before for the offences punishable under Sections 341, 323, 325, 307 and 506/34 of the Indian Penal Code. The High Court, however, refused to grant the prayer.

Vehemently arguing against the prayer for pre-arrest bail of the petitioners, it was submitted that both the petitioners (before the High Court) had concealed their criminal antecedents. On the direction of the Court, an affidavit was filed disclosing that the petitioner No.1 has got two criminal antecedents i.e. Jehanabad Police Station under Sections 153, 153(A), 147, 149, 353, 333, 307, 435, 436, 379 I.P.C. and under Sections 153(A), 147, 149, 302, 188 and 153 I.P.C. and Section 27 of the Arms Act.

However, from the records i.e. supplementary affidavit of the petitioners, it appeared that earlier the petitioner No.1 had obtained character certificate from the office of Superintendent of Police, Jehanabad. The character certificate was issued on September 14, 2022 saying that there was no record of any case in Jehanabad police station against petitioner No.1.

It was further submitted that the petitioner herein was also an accused. It was pointed out that he was one amongst the several accused against whom the case has been found true and charge-sheet has been submitted.

Therefore, noting that the petitioner No. 1 not only indulged in hiding his criminal antecedents but also indulged in obtaining the character certificate containing a false declaration, the High Court in the impugned order noted, “In both the cases, the petitioner no. 1 is named accused in the F.I.R. The Superintendent of Police, Jehanabad, who has issued the certificate, as contained in Annexure- ‘4’ to the supplementary affidavit to petitioner no.1, shall conduct an enquiry as to how and under what circumstances the character certificate declaring that the petitioner had no criminal records in Jehanabad police station was issued. This certificate has been sought to be placed before this Court to show the clean antecedent of the petitioner no.1. The Superintendent of Police, Jehanabad shall, upon completion of enquiry within a period of three months from the date of receipt/communication of a copy of this order, fix the responsibility in this regard and inform to this Court”.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court made the interim order dated December 6, 2023 absolute on the same terms and conditions.

The order of the Supreme Court of December 6, 2023 inter alia said, "In the meanwhile, the petitioner No.2 shall not be arrested in connection with FIR No.158 of 2023 registered at City Police Station, District Jehanabad, Bihar subject to the condition that he will always cooperate for investigation".


Petitioner: Senior Advocate Syed Jafar Hussain, AOR Praveen Swarup, Advocates Ameet Singh, K.P. Singh, Archana Sharma, Ravi Kumar, Devesh Maurya.

Respondent: AOR Manish Kumar, and Advocate Ravi Shanker Jha.

Cause Title: Md. Tauhid @ Kallu, Manoj Singh v. The State Of Bihar

Click here to read/download the Order